Hi there. I'm coach Craig. Kenneth. Hi there. I'm coach Margaret and today we're going to be talking about time, space, and love.
That's right. It's absolutely important and critical to understand that in relationships you need to give somebody time. You need to give them space and you need to understand that your, a level of commitment or um, availability in a relationship, maybe completely different than your partners. And a lot of that is going to depend upon your attachment style. You go and your partner is attachment style. So what tends to happen a lot of the time is if you have an anxious attachment style, you're probably a lot more attracted to an avoidant and vice versa. If you're an avoided, you're probably a lot more attracted to somebody that has an anxious attachment style. And I think a big part of that has to do with our relationship to our caregivers.
Craig Kenneth: 01:31 Absolutely. Yep. And so if you know, you were in a home situation where you were anxious and you're desperately trying to get your mom's love, you're going to be used to that dynamic where you're fighting to get their love and you're frustrated. Right? Right. And as I've said in other videos from a, a great quote that we love, I only want what I need from someone that can't give it to me. So you're going to be more likely to be attracted to somebody that can't give you what you need. And they the same. So if you're anxious, the avoidant is equally frustrated with you for the other reason. Like they're like, oh my gosh, I need some time here. This is too much. It's overwhelming for them.
New Speaker: 02:21 And when things are off kilter like that, you're liable to hear from one party or the other. I need space. Okay? Now that is a terrifying. Absolutely. Oh my God, they want to break up with me. Especially if you have an anxious attachment style and riff, a fear of being abandoned. Oh my God, Oh my God. It's even worse than we need to talk, right? Or worse yet. We need to talk and I need space. Okay. It's, it's horrible. Yeah. The feeling is horrible. You feel like death immediately. Yes. Immediately. Um, but I just want to remind everyone as I, as do almost weekly, that we have a huge human need for love and affection and connection, but we have an equally huge need for autonomy and independence. And when we're particularly in the early stages of love, we're not thinking about space or being away from this person or any of those other things.
Coach Margaret: 03:23 But as you go on and daily life goes on, sometimes the relationship becomes all consuming and people don't have time for other things. So they will ask for some space. And the other implication is that a good fences make good neighbors. In other words, if you know where the boundaries are, if you know what the person needs and doesn't need, then that's equally important to knowing how much affection they need. And what kinds of things make them feel loved. So I guess there's a love language and an independent functioning language just as it had been defined yet. Alright. So what do you do when somebody says, I need space. You say whatever you need, just let me understand why you need some space and I'll be happy to give it to you and happy to support you with whatever it is you want to do. During that time,
Craig Kenneth: 04:16 no chances are that people that are watching this video did not do that over and over and over again. And so now you're in a position where you're trying to learn and educate yourself and make those internal changes right?
Coach Margaret: 04:33 But you need to not panic. Remember we talked about reacting is different from responding. You don't want to react with how come you don't want to be with me anymore? What are you saying to me? You want to say, okay, tell me more about what you need. So you want to explore a little by asking open ended questions and what kind of answers are you likely to get? I'm neglecting my nieces and nephews. My family complains that they haven't seen me for several weeks. I got behind in my studies. I'm too tired going to work every morning. All kinds of things can come up
Craig Kenneth: 05:07 and some of them are true. One of the frustrating things, Margaret, is sometimes they are just excuses. Sure, and interpreting whether their excuses or not can be really difficult, but the only thing
Coach Margaret: 05:19 thing you can do on the spot is to take it at face value and say, how can I respect your space? If that's what you're asking,
Craig Kenneth: 05:27 and then when you want to know what it, what the heck it means that when you talk with us and we'll sit there and try and interpret what that really means, break
Coach Margaret: 05:36 up with you. They're not sure they're trying to buy a little time about that. You could have outside interference. You know, parents say, Ya'll ready to get married? Don't even think about it. A friends who are saying, I don't know if this person is good for you, outside pressure can, can make a lot of things happen and sometimes people say, I need. I need space because they just need time to think things over. Yes, that's absolutely true. But you can't go wrong by not panicking and saying, how can I support you with that? I know it's probably the last option.
Craig Kenneth: 06:07 Yeah.
Coach Margaret: 06:09 Yeah. So first you're taking a deep breath and they check it at face value and say, okay, you want some space? Sure. Um,
Craig Kenneth: 06:18 but it can very well be a warning that the relationship is on the verge of ending
Coach Margaret: 06:23 or that. Yes, exactly. And that's why it strikes terror into people's heart because it seems a little less drastic than saying I really want to break up with you and they truly may not know yet at that point and need some time to think about it.
Craig Kenneth: 06:37 And it's critical that you behave in a way that doesn't make it worse.
Coach Margaret: 06:41 It doesn't make them feel more smothered or guilty or anything of that sort. And I was reading something recently that was saying if you have asked about space in the beginning of a relationship and didn't get it, it will come up again. Because when you think about a life together, I don't think you want to check in every five minutes or not be able to make a decision yourself or you know, not have some personal space that you don't have to account for. Okay. Um, so it's going to come up often. So you're going to stay cool, calm and collected. And that's how it's gonna go.
Craig Kenneth: 07:17 And don't beat yourself up too much if you didn't do it in the past,
Coach Margaret: 07:22 right? Yeah. No, don't, don't beat yourself up under any circumstances. Um, but you know, one of the things you want to do is carefully explore what's going on. So if it's a reasonable period of time and it all seems reasonable to you, do it and respect it totally. When you do it, don't call or text or drive by or comment on their social media. Gives them a couple of weeks without you. They may miss you and it may work very well in ways you didn't even anticipate, right?
Craig Kenneth: 07:50 Yeah. It's such a desperate feeling, oh, it's a desperate feeling. It hurts. It really hurts. It's really, really scary. And you've, if you've had that kind of attachment trauma. Yeah. Here we go again. Here we go again. I'm going to lose it. I'm going to walk out on me. He's going to walk out and over again. It's terrifying because you feel like you're never gonna find somebody again. Right, right,
Coach Margaret: 08:11 right. I'll give you a couple of case examples. A man shared that he had some leftover feelings from a prior relationship that he wanted to work through. He also knew he was gonna have to share the fact that he has an anxiety disorder and panic attacks if he wanted to go any further with this relationship. So he was a bit immobilized by all of this. So he asked for three weeks of space. His girlfriend's supported him and they were able to work it out and go on. So that's one that works correctly. Um, there are other ones. There was a rather famous in the area of the children took place on a radio station with people who had dated each other for a long time. And the woman in the relationship said she wanted her own bank account. And the guy said, no, I have all of our money set up in a way that's really working.
Coach Margaret: 09:12 And you don't need a bank account. Guess what happened? She got her own bank account and left and left without that money. Yep. Um, well he was trying to control her. Yes, he was exactly right. It was a control issue and sometimes it's a normal response to a control issue, but sometimes people can find themselves doing things that people consider controlling that they didn't even think of as controlling. Yeah. And that happens all the time because a lot of times people talk with me and they'll say, I had no idea. I had no idea. Was anxious. I had no idea. Was manipulating. I had no idea what I was doing to my partner. Right. Yeah. And I, I believe that, I believe that and that's, that's worth discussing. Um, and is another one. Um, I know a man one time who had, was very upset with his divorce from his wife actually.
Coach Margaret: 10:08 But when all was said and done, he had pushed her away and kind of distanced from her in the relationship because he was sick and tired of her telling him what he could and couldn't wear to go to work, to go to a function, to go to a party, to go to a get together. He had absolutely had it with. You can't wear that. So he admitted that he had pushed her away, got fed up. He got fed around naked despite. Well, that would have straightened her right up. Okay. Well you didn't like anything. I was. So here I am. Where are we going? Oh, somebody's church wedding. Oh, probably not a good idea. I'll get my sock sock. I like it. Um, but the other thing is if you're able to negotiate a threatening requests like that and it works, then your relationship is in good shape and some growth may even come out of it because nobody wants to be cramped.
Coach Margaret: 11:05 Think about it. We come into the world cramped because we were sick of being cramped and decided to get out of there. So cramped is, is an issue for all of us and a sense of being smothered. Literally, I'm not being able to breathe. So it might not be the end of the world if somebody asks you for space and don't immediately panic if you can possibly help it. Absolutely, and I want to tell you about the porcupines. I don't know if I've ever told you what I have told, told Craig about porcupines, but Dr Freud, the man who invented therapy back in Vienna many years ago, if a German proverb and he talked about using it as a metaphor for closeness and distance in a family. Think about a family of porcupine. Now porcupines you will recall a rather cute little creatures, but they have these not so nice quills on them that are their natural defense.
Coach Margaret: 12:04 Okay, so you've got a nice family of porcupines mother, porcupine, father, porcupine porcupines, and a few cousins and one night during the winter they were all huddling together in their borough where they lived for warmth. Now what do you think it would be like to snuggle up to another porcupine? It would be a bit problematic now. Wouldn't it, and the metaphor is that you have to find just the appropriate distance where you can get the space not to get stamped and the warmth not to freeze to death. That's right. Yeah. I liked the story. I hope you like it too.
Craig Kenneth: 12:44 I'm sure they will, but you know, it's so important and scary to understand this stuff. It's important to understand it and it's scary at the same time because you're just like overwhelmed with fear. Absolutely. Yeah. And you know, trying to assess what's going on with your partner can be really confusing because when you're so overwhelmed by your own emotions, it's hard to think about what they need. Because remember what I say about with anxious people, they tend to become very selfish and self centered when we're anxious. That's a good point. And the only thing we care about is soothing our own anxiety.
Coach Margaret: 13:21 Yes. So I'm reminding you, don't panic and offered to help and support so that you know what to do on the spot.
Craig Kenneth: 13:28 Absolutely. Yeah. And then, you know, Margaret and I of course can help assess what's going on in your situation and look at it as objective as we can because we're going to see those blind spots that you have and we're going to see things that you might not have thought of that are causing your partner to feel the way they are and even explore with you why you feel the way that the way you feel you do.
Coach Margaret: 13:53 That's right. And how can you tell your partner you need space in a way that doesn't scare them half to death.
Craig Kenneth: 13:58 Yeah. But you know, it's a tricky thing to assess when you're scared. Yes it is. And that's what I would say is that it's very difficult for you to really get a clear picture right when you're going through it.
Coach Margaret: 14:13 Yeah. But you're sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I need some space for the next 35 years. It's not, it's not a good sign. Oh. And don't snuggle up to a porcupine.
Craig Kenneth: 14:25 Try not to. I try not to anyway. Alright. So that was a lot to think about, huh?
Coach Margaret: 14:30 Yes, it is a lot to think about and it's very important to think about establishing a life with somebody that's going to involve how kids, you know, all those things and there has to be some personal space in the assembly.